Castara Cottage - Reader Reports & Opinion

Guest Report   

Jovan Kilibarda from Canada visited in July 2011 and awarded  Four out of Five

We definitely loved our stay at Castara. It was very interesting, beautiful, unusual...

Firstly and most importantly to mention is that this is not all you can eat, non-stop entertainment, resort style vacation. This is about spending time on a beautiful tropical island, among villagers whose life is not revolving only around tourists but around... fishing, mostly, I guess.

Secondly, we were there at summer time (July 2011) which has two significant implications:

1. It is the time for the rains - beautiful quick warm tremendous downpours; the only problem is that bugs love them too and thrive in those rainy days.

2. As there are more bugs, there are fewer visitors so you get more of the island beauty and attention from the locals for yourself.

Long pants are highly recommended: mosquitoes (or sand flies, or both, or whatever) bite, usually under knees. Not having exposed legs and feet helps a lot.

Apart from the beautiful scenery, beaches, water, what truly made our trip special and memorable were the people; they were all sincerely friendly, helpful, spontaneous, relaxed, generous. We made many good friends there.

We loved our Castara Cottage Tamarind apartment - it felt like a home: cosy, colourful, spacious. The deck was everyone's favourite spot. The living room could be turned into balcony as well – two walls are actually boards that open for even more breeze to come in; there are no glass windows anywhere and you definitely do not need them. We also enjoyed it's location very much. The bathroom had only very basic functionality; a hose outside was helpful. The kitchen was modest but offered everything we needed to make meals.

Guest Report   

Tommaso from U.S.A. visited in March 2011 and awarded  Four out of Five

My wife and I were escaping from NYC for one week of relax and by chance we booked the Saffron apartment at Castara Cottage. It was a lucky pick! We enjoyed every single moment in the house, cooking fresh fish, reading on the terrace or just sleeping protected by the mosquito net.

If you are looking for something “homey”, with discrete but proactive service (thanks Joshua!), this is your place.

Note about roosters, neighbor’s dog and Owner

Castara is full of roosters (almost one every inhabitant!) and they start early... but we got used after first night.

The neighbor’s dog probably familiarized with the space because we rarely heard him barking and we hadn’t problem during the night.

Ann was really kind and responsive during booking. We also changed our plan leaving one day before and gave us the money back with no problem.

Guest Report   

Conrad Fowler from New Zealand visited in March 2011 and awarded  Five out of Five

We extended our stay in Castara Cottages because of the friendly and honest service by manager Joshua, relaxing and refreshing character of the cottages, and the village of Castara- an authentic and welcoming village which had us flying home with a very special experience to remember. Highly recommended!

Guest Report   

Nigel Fearnley from U.K. visited in March 2011 and awarded  Five out of Five

My wife and 3 year old daughter had a fantastic two week stay in the Tamarind Apartment back in March. The whole experience from beginning to end was very easy and relaxed. Ann, the owner, prides herself on customer care and couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful in responding to all my queries before we booked the apartment as well as providing some very useful information packs. Joshua the manager was also fantastic, he regularly called by to check we were ok, but without being intrusive, he shared his local knowledge with us and we also asked him to cook us a fish bbq one night which was really tasty and a nice authentic experience.

The apartment was comfortable and well-equipped with attractive local character. It had a spacious and airy lounge, and a large private and shaded veranda, where you could eat outside, and sit and relax enjoying the local birdlife and the view and lovely sunsets over little Bay. The location was also perfectly positioned for easy access to both beaches less than 5 minutes walk away, and also the main village centre.

Yes there are the occasional sounds of dogs and chickens at night, but you can also hear the relaxing sounds of the waves breaking, the cicadas, and occasional rain showers in the night. None of this was ever a serious issue for us, if anything it only adds to the authenticity of the expereince. All in all, the Tamarind apartment and the village of Castara offer the perfect place to spend a holiday that is much more immersed into the local surroundings and way of life than staying in a hotel resort in a much more tourist developed area.

Guest Report   

Sabine Liehr from Austria visited in January 2011 and awarded  One out of Five

We (three friends) stayed in Castara for two weeks in Jan 2011 and loved the village and it's friendly and helpful locals.

Castara Cottage Tamarind apartment is really as nice as on the pictures, cosy, colourful, fresh with a spacy terrace giving space to all of us.

As the cottage is situated in the middle of two streets leading to beaches very often locals dropped by to chat or leave fruits (Mango, Papaya..) on our table.

We liked the space and interieur of the apartment, even if the bathroom could be much better as it isn't tiled and has a very small washing basin. We have seen much better bathrooms within more economic apartments in Castara- this could be improved, so far the only small critics in a first moment, BUT:

The worst had to come: as the apartment is fully wooden constructure and very open it is also very loud. In Castara there are lot's of Roosters and cheicken and dogs. Roosters start crying at 1 o'clock in the morning, dogs bark all the time, nearby church with loud music early evening, main road behind the apartment with cars and loud music- all this we could have managed and get used to it.

ONE THING HAS BEEN IMPOSSIBLE: sleep all night long with the neighbours dog barking 4 or 6 times a night almost for half an hour. It seemed as if the dog was standing in our room. The neighbour keeps the dog just 3 meters away and chained in the night- and he was not willing to move it into the house or behind his house. We tried one week with earplugs, one of my friends had a nervous breakdown after 8 nights without sleep, even with earplugs and had to move to another place. Joshua the manager was very nice and tried to help us, he also talked to the neighbour- no chance. Locals tried to find a quiet and not expensive place for us, as they already knew that there was a problem with this dog- they have had complaints before, so also the owner of the place has been already aware about this problem, but nobody had warned us!

We asked the owner of the apartment if she was willing to return at least a small part of the prepayment as we had to move, she was not willing to help.

So we are very disappointed- even if the place is so nice- we cannot recommend this place to other people if the dog problem is not solved.

We were told that all dogs bark, not only the neighbours dog, but we can tell that this is not really the truth: yes, there is some barking in the night- but this dog is the only one you can hear all night through and that loud over whole Castara. And I'm very sorry for the owner of Castara Cottage to have built such a beautiful apartment and then get such neighbours. But this is no excuse for not advising customers in advance that there night be this noise problem, especially as Catsra Cottage is not beneath the most economic places. We paid 1382 USD for two weeks, so minimum one can exspect is that he's able to sleep at night!!!

We work hard all year round, alot of stress, so holidays are HOLY to be able to relax once a year- not possible without sleep.

A nervous breakdown in your holidays because of no sleep? Possible, deprivation of sleep is used as torture method.

My advice: Don't ever book Castara Cottage in advance with prepayment.

For all the rest: after we had partially moved to another place and could sleep there the last 6 days were again beautiful and great.

Good fish from the fishermen, great food at the coffeshop and Boathouse, nice liming and drum sessions and dancing- very friendly and helpful people, beautiful beaches and snorkeling (Saw a stingray in Castara little bay). WE WILL RETURN!!! of course- very sorry- not to Castara Cottage.


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